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Thursday, February 10, 2011

What a month!

What a crazy month we have had.  Seems the flu bug has found permanent residence in Rodiville.  I am posting this as an official eviction notice to those pesky "bugs".  They need to evacuate immediately!

Okay with that said .... 


He has returned in the form of a handsome little rooster!

He crows and the girls go wild!  

Poor Bogart, his tune just doesn't make the girls swoon like Humphrey's does.

Bogart isn't going down without a fight and Hazel has bought front row seats.  

Oh these two make me laugh!  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Big Mama- "Fancy, do you see that?"
Fancy- "I can't see through you, maybe you could moooo-ve"
Sunshine- "You two just keep chatting. *munch, much* I'll make sure to leave you a little hay *munch, munch*
Big Mama- "They are bringing another one..."
Fancy- "Mooove, I can't see.  Another what?"
Big Mama- "Another feathered thing to wake us up in the morning"
Sunshine- "Oh dear, *munch, munch* what to do, what to do?  Guess we should discuss this over lunch"

"Alright who is in charge around here, and can you tell me why they are calling me Humphrey?  Don't I get at least one phone call?"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

"Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." – Casablanca

Yesterday Rodi and I took a trip to pick up a couple of round hay bales.  What we didn't know is that we would be coming home with a new addition to the flock.  I was going to post a good picture this morning but it is raining outside. *sigh*  I promise to put one up this week.  Our newest feathered friend is Humphrey.  Yes another rooster.  What were we thinking?  We were thinking this kind old man selling us this hay loves his chickens, and is giving us a gift. We couldn't possibly tell the man we didn't need another rooster, it would have crushed him.  He walked us around showing us all of his birds, and he has a lot of them.  He told us about the mixes he was happy with and plans for new ones.  He also had some giant roosters.  Okay maybe not giant, but compared to Bogart they were huge.  I couldn't even imagine the nightmare that could lead to if I were to be chased around the yard by a rooster that size. I am pretty sure my broom would not even phase a rooster of that size.

Rodi thought we had an out when he asked me, in front of the gentleman, if I was going to hold Humphrey on my lap for the ride home.  Keep in mind this is a 30-45 min drive.  

I replied with a sigh and an "Oh?"

The man didn't even bat an eye.  He had us follow him into the barn, where he pulled out a square of tarp and HE ROLLED HUMPHREY UP!  I couldn't believe it.

"Here's looking at you, kid" – Casablanca

This was how he rode, all the way home.  I held him, and we chatted.  I had on my Chicken Mgr. sweatshirt so I told him who I was and that my title included roosters.  He is now well aware of all the rules he is expected to follow.  Once the tough talk was done we danced and sang a bit.  Well, we already looked odd to those pulling up next to us, why not put on a real show?

Lillie Bunny was not impressed with Humphrey's arrival.  She had to move out of her beloved tractor so Humphrey could move in.  Since Bogart wants nothing to do with Sophie (the last little bantam hen), we moved her into the tractor with Humphrey (also a bantam).  I am hoping it is the start of something beautiful.  

Friday, January 14, 2011

Miracles in progress

Not just my brave hat, but my boots too. 

Climbing up into that loft is not one of my favorite things to do.  Turns out my fear of heights is nothing compared to my fear of walking through the pasture with a bale of hay in my hands.  The animals know what hay looks like.  They know it is their food during the winter months.  They love to walk beside the hay as the farmhand (that would be me today), finds the best place to serve the meal in the pasture.  We have a bale ring we can put the hay in, but right now we prefer to put several small patches of hay out in the pasture to give equal eating opportunities and to minimize "the drop zone" effect (you know one massive area of future compost material).  We have a few animals that think they should eat until they are personally stuffed, before anyone else should be able to enjoy even a morsel.  Making these small piles really helps everyone to get a fair share of hay.

Today I hadn't even walked through the gate to the pasture where the animals were mingling when I was spotted by Gypsy.
Gypsy is Rodi's horse and she loves that man.  She will follow him anywhere.  She terrifies me, and she knows it.

I took a deep breath and kept walking.  I walked as if I wasn't scared.  I walked as if I didn't have a care in the world.  I was just there to put out the hay and that is a simple thing to do (in my dreams).  Gypsy tried to take a sample of the hay as I passed by.  I just told her "no", and kept walking.  Soon all the animals were coming towards me.  My herd of cows looked ready to pounce.  Tonka with his bullish ways started using his horns to push the other cows out of his way and to the back of the line.  Even with all this commotion going on all I could think about were Gypsy and Rosebud and how they were following closely behind.  Gypsy snorted and I swear I almost lost my breakfast.  I put the hay down and began to break it apart into sections. I grabbed the first section and walked it across the pasture a bit.  When I looked to see who was following me I was dismayed but not surprised, to find all the animals over munching on the main block that was still waiting for me to distribute it into several areas.  This would mean I was going to have to go back over there, bend down to pick up more hay, and not be trampled by the cows and most importantly the horses.  In their minds I would be stealing their food, I am quite sure.  Certain death was in store for me, I just knew it.  I remembered I had on my brave hat and confidently went in for the hay.
I didn't die, and I even found it easier to breathe than I had expected.  I was able to go back to the now smaller original bale several times.  I was almost giddy looking at the animals as they all found their way to their own little piles of hay.  I did that.  I made them happy.  Way to go me!  

As I started to walk away I noticed Gypsy was following me.  Eeeekkkk!  Was she ushering me out of her pasture?  I turned around, tried my best to wipe the fear out of my eyes, and asked her what she wanted.  Then.... she brushed her nose on my jacket.  I wasn't sure what to do so I gave her nose a little rub.  Turns out she was okay with that.  She turned and went back to her pile of hay.  I started to walk back to the barn when I noticed Carley J in the yard no longer tending to the bunnies and chickens.  She had stopped in her tracks to watch such a rare sight, her mother in the pasture with the horses.  So excited about what had just happened, she actually told me she was proud.  My heart melted just a little.  Okay a lot.

I decided we needed proof of my adventures.  I handed her my phone and told her to snap a few pictures.  Then I did the unthinkable... I walked back towards the pasture, back towards Gypsy.  Gypsy saw me and decided to meet me halfway. 
I am still fearful of these beautiful creatures, so it is not yet a miracle.

More like a miracle in progress.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who? Me?

It would appear Dodge felt the need to know his food on a more personal level.  The other possible option is that the cows gave him some Baaaad fashion advice.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

He Loves Me, He Loves Me NOT!

The verdict is in.  While I feel there was a time that Bogart loved me.
It seems those days are long gone.  Gone are the days of Boggie sweetly following me around the yard, curiously watching my every move.  Oh, those were the days.
Now (well since yesterday), I must be brave to walk through the yard, and always on the lookout for "Big Bad Bogart".  He has gone on the attack.  
It really is quite the site I am sure.  

I can just hear the neighbor boy calling to his mom, "Mom, come look!  I think the rooster is gonna win this one."

He loves me, He loves me NOT...
It is a sad time for me. I am trying to come up with a plan to renew our friendship.  If it doesn't work, I see long days for Bogart living in the dreaded chicken tractor.  Of course then I will have to build Lillie a new playground as she loves life in the tractor.

Thankfully there are others in the barnyard who are beginning to understand me and my lovable quirks.
Gypsy and her "Betty Davis Eyes" follow me from a distance these days.  Gypsy loves to come right up to people.  She assumes all people love horses, especially people who own horses.  I have had to explain to her that that isn't always the case.  While Rodi and the kids love horses, they TERRIFY me.  Oh yeah, like shake in my boots terrified.  It takes every ounce of bravery in me to walk out into that pasture when the horses are nearby.  It seems silly I know.  I am not sure where the fear comes from, but it is there.  I think Gypsy has finally realized that while I love her, I must love her from a safe distance.  She is truly a beautiful horse and when she runs through the pasture with her tail held high it is the most amazing site.  A site I love to watch from the safety of our deck.
Of course her recent distance could be due to her great fashion sense.  I mean it takes a lot of courage to be seen socializing with this:

Yep nothing says fashion like rubber mud boots and an apron worn outdoors.
Do you see the mud smeared on the glass section of the door?  Husker swears he wipes his paws before knocking to come back inside.  I say the proof is on the window.  Seriously that snow-melt has left us in a muddy mess.

I am off to begin my quest in re-friending Bogart.  Any advice would be deeply appreciated.

Monday, January 3, 2011


The chickens went on strike.
Not an egg was laid.
They were grumpy, and did not love the custom built tractor we made to keep them safe.

They have moved out of the tractor and are living once again on the wild side.  Every evening I am doing a head count to make sure they have all returned to the coop.  I am relieved that we didn't dismantle the original coop to make the new tractor.  Oh we would be in a pickle if we had done such a thing.
The chickens are happy once again, and the strike is over.
The very first day out of the tractor they thanked us with an egg.
Now they cluck around the outside of the tractor poking fun at the new tractor resident.... Lillie.  

Lillie aka "Bad Mama" moved into the tractor the same day the chickens moved out.  What the feathered flock doesn't understand is that Lillie LOVES the tractor.  She hops all around goes up and down the ramp like it was designed just for her.  Plus she gets to say "Na-na-na-boo-boo" to Husker when he comes sniffing around.  Lillie is in love with her new home, even if it wasn't built for her.